Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Feeling like I'm 25

I was pleased to discover today that I am the 25th most popular artist in the Urban Folk category on How cool is that?

The most popular artist in the same category is Regina Spektor, a musician for whom I hold a great deal of respect. If you haven't checked out her music, I highly recommend it. Also, she is completely adorable in the music video for Fidelity, a song that you should listen to with caution as it is completely addictive. You've been warned.

Also....Another "Robert Recommends" is the Feast of Fools Podcast. They discuss the whole Donnie Davies (Parody or Reality?) Issue in their last two episodes, which has of course been my most recent hot topic of controversy conversation.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lucky 13 again

This week marks the 13th week that Open wide has been on the Sirius Out Q Hot 20 countdown.

I was so thrilled that it went to #1 for three weeks straight..(Straight?)
I mean, in a row.

I am currently revising the treatment for the music video. As mentioned before, I get to wear a straight jacket, which has me so excited, I can hardly contain myself.

Your Ghost

Last night I finished the 2nd verse and second chorus for a new song which has the working title of "Your Ghost." I am really excited to see where this song goes. Right now It reaches into something I've been feeling a lot lately, which is an overwhelming sense of loneliness.

"I know it's time for me to go, but I don't know where to begin.
I'm curled so deep within my soul
When I look for the sky
I just see my skin."

One thing has become apparent in the songs that have been coming out recently. This album is going to be a little darker than the last. I promise to poke little rays of light through the cloud cover. I will soak you with the rain, but I promise you won't drown.

Just row your boat gently down the stream.

P.S. Avacados + Boiled Eggs = Marriage Made in Heaven

Monday, January 29, 2007

Saving the World on a Stationary Bike

Photo by the one and only Carrie Thomas

Last night while eating a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich and contemplation global destruction I had this idea, which I'm sure has been pondered before.

There are all of these gyms around the city with people on stationary bikes and treadmills. Why don't we harness this energy and use it to power something? I bet if we combined all the energy from every stationary bike in the city's gyms we could Keep the lights burning bright in one McDonald's or Burger King. I dream of a world where crazy thoughts like this are put into practice, making it rather unnecessary to desemate entire countries in the name of fossil fuels.

Friday, January 26, 2007

(part 2)

Having now visited his website, I am pretty sure this is a joke, though I have met people who are exactly like this in real life. That is the scary part.
...The Website

God Hates Fags?

It was an extremely traumatic experience being approached by my parents at age 18 to have them tell me they wanted me to speak with a christian counseler with an organization called Exodus in Minneapolis, Minnesotta.

For those of you who aren't aware, there are these people who believe that faith in Jesus can change You from being gay to straight. They also believe that being gay is the result of your mother being over bearing and your father withholding love. I met with a counselor at Exodus one winter's day, followed by my first trip to a gay bar.

My experience was laughable. I got the counselor who was supposed to be helping me to admit that he was still gay after being with this organization for 6 years. It sickens me to think of this poor man as I feel he needed a lot more help than I ever did.

Oddly enough I stumbled upon this video. The man singing looks identical to the counselor with whom I met.
This could be the theme song for the ex-gay movement, but given my experience it just makes me laugh.

***Watch the Video***

***Listen to a podcast
where I recount my experience with the ex-gay movement***

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Tri State Area

Photo by Carrie Thomas

Random Pondering #1

Why is it that no matter where you go, You are in the "Tri-State Area?"
And why does it always end up in local commercials for car dealerships.
Chew on that one.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Rat Race (Critters Part 3)

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

After the dust has cleared and the nuclear winter has thawed, there will still be rats and cockroaches. Having been conditioned by the hard living of New York City, these creatures have been bred to be indestructible. Though many of us find them quite repulsive, I have to tip my hat to these critters for their tenacity in the game of survival.

At the top of our most hated urban critters list, is the rat.
City rats much like pigeons have adapted to eating almost anything to survive.
I could go through a list of things I've seen rats eat, but let's face it, I don't even want to talk about it.

One of the most delightful subway memories I have floating around in my brain happened late one night at the West 4th street subway station. I was sitting on a bench waiting for the F train back to Brooklyn when a V train pulled into the platform. Simultaneously a rat scurried across the platform towards the arriving train. I was on the edge of my seat as the subway doors slid open and the rat approached the car. He started to enter the train. He popped his little rodent head inside, looked left, looked right, sniffed around with his whiskers twitching and then suddenly turned around and walked away just before the doors closed.

I envisioned one of two scenarios, as I love to fantasize.
The first was of course, the rat getting into the car, the doors closing and the screaming monkey shit hitting the fan. I pictured a large woman who looked much too much like a cartoon elephant on top of a table screaming at a passing mouse. It made me smile, which quite possibly means that I have a dark sense of humor that occasionally likes to revel in the ridiculous nature of human suffering.

The second scenario involved the rat's tail getting stuck in the subway door and the train pulling away with a rat's tail hanging out the side of it. I wasn't sure whether to find this thought oddly funny or disturbing, so I quickly washed it from my brain.

I have only had one bad experience with the rats of New York. As a whole, we have accepted each other's existence.
At long last, here is the brief but frightening retelling of what happened to me late one summer night in Prospect Heights Brooklyn.

I had been to visit my friend, S____, and grown rather groggy finally excusing myself to hit the streets and let my feet carry me back to Park Slope. I was on auto-pilot with that glazed sort of city vision where even that which is directly in front of you is in peripheral. This is how we we walk without making eye contact. This is how we block out all the stimuli.

As I was walking in my tunnel vision fog, I saw what I thought to be a black plastic bag being blown by the wind in my right peripheral vision. I thought nothing of it. Suddenly the bag moved very quickly toward me and was on top of my feet, but it wasn't a bag at all. It was a pack of rats. I screamed like a 12 year old girl kicking and flailing. I accidentally kicked three of the rats with my feet and they flew into the air like rockets, squealing in that high pitched sound that only a rat can make. I began running at full speed and didn't stop running until I was two blocks away.

I had never before and have never since seen a pack of rats. Perhaps I stumbled down the wrong block on the wrong day. Perhaps it was the 12th Annual Brooklyn Rat Race.

Many years from now, a grandfather rat who was only a tiny rat on that fateful day, will be tucking in his grandson at bedtime and tell him the story of the year of the last rat race, when poor uncle Timothy was injured by an insane screaming man. How Margaret was never the same and wouldn't venture out anymore to rummage through the garbage, scared that something horrible would happen. He will tell of how she withered away and died long before her time, leaving behind her only son, who vowed to make that crazy man pay. Margaret's son's name was Anthony. He grew up to run the neighborhood watch at a church in Brooklyn Heights. One night, he saw a man with a guitar passing the church and had it not been for his wife, Jessica, he would have had his revenge, for a rat with score to settle never forgets a face.

Shopping for Straight Jackets & Replacing her brain

Photo by the incomparable Carrie Thomas

Friday night

I did a benefit show in Hell's kitchen and premiered a new tune called "Flapjacks," which I have already begun recording for the new album. It is a 1940's-ish song about a troubled house husband. I went through a period where I used to scrub between the tiles with a toothbrush and hosted lots of dinner parties with multiple courses featuring elaborate dishes with exotic ingredients.
My wasabi twice baked potatoes are to die for, not to mention my creme brulee.

After the benefit, I went to a birthday party and somehow ended up spending half my time talking with a musician/porn star. He was very nice, but something made me keep thinking of a porn musical. Has it been done? Would Stephen Sondheim sign off on the film "Weenie Todd," the porn adaptation of his much beloved creation, Sweeney Todd? or perhaps, Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahomo? I see a world of possibilities. Someone, take the ball and run with it.


I spent part of the day shopping for straight jackets. Yes, I know there's a joke there. Let me explain. I am doing my first music video for the song Open Wide. I am very excited about the whole concept, which I will keep mostly quiet for now. I will only say that there is a straight jacket in the video. Will I be wearing it? You'll have to wait to find out.

The rest of Saturday was spent hanging out with Nathan and Dan watching Nickelodeon and then one of the Best/Worst Lifetime movies with none other than Rose McGowen. She is horribly brilliant. I especially loved her in Doom Generation.

I ended my day by replacing the hard drive on my laptop, which felt sort of like brain surgery. My poor little machine's brain died suddenly a couple of weeks ago. After much careful work, I am pleased to say that my computer is up and running again with a bigger faster hard drive. Yay!


I went into the Studio on and worked on three songs
-Mama Don't Like No Chocolate
-Mr. Carpentier

I'm really pleased with where the new album is going.
After the studio I ate some boiled eggs and ran to a meeting to discuss the music video.

I am chugging along with a new hard drive,soon-to-be-purchased straight jacket and a soon-to-be-filmed music video.
Life is good.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Uncle Robert

I was standing in line at the post office last night with my big bubble headphones on
listening to Sinead O'connor's, Universal Mother, One of my favorite albums of all time by the way.

The following lyrics were going into my ears.

"I love my boy...I love my pride and joy...etc"

My pocket started to vibrate signaling an incoming call on the batphone.
It was my sister in Kansas. While I was home over Christmas she kept asking my opinion about
baby names even though she was not pregnant. My response to this line of questioning was,
"Call me when you have a horse ,and then we can talk about a cart."

So my sister sounds cheerful as usual as she says "Remember that cart we were talking about, well I've got a horse."

I immediately knew she was telling me that she's pregnant. I jumped up and down squeeling in the street. I had no idea this would be my reaction. I began frantically dialing every person I could think of leaving them overly excited messages that I am going to be an uncle.

I'm going to be an uncle or as my sister says, the cool uncle from New York. She has threatened to buy the baby a onesy that says "If you think I'm cute, you should see my uncle"

I'm sure this is going to be the cutest baby ever.
and I am going to be uncle Robert.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Love is a Cliff

Love is a cliff

Do you claw at the edge scared you are going to fall and hit the ground with a splat?
Do You skip off the edge with a smile preparing to fly like Icarus. We'll talk about the sun another time. Right now, let's just focus on the cliff.

Love is a cliff

Can you be pushed easily off the edge with a feather, or is there a 300lb black woman attached to your legs? Why a black woman? I don't know. I just thought she was more interesting. Why didn't I choose a white woman? ...well maybe it's because I'm thinking of my legs and if I'm going to have a 300lb woman on my side, helping to keep me from flying off the side of a cliff, I want her to be black. ok? (cringing and preparing for hatemail from large black women or love mail, not sure which, better prepare for both) least favorite holiday is Valentine's day. It either reminds me of how single I am or of how dysfunctional and unfairytale my current relationship is. It's also really hard to enjoy a romantic dinner with a 300lb black woman under your chair. I don't really feel that is appropriate to feed her table scraps and I don't really feel right about eating my pork chop while she looks up with those puppydog eyes. (once again cringing and preparing for hate mail. It might be too close to kwanzaa and MLK day to have written this paragraph, but I count on you, my enlightened readers to go with that sense of humor you've got.)

Love is a cliff
and when you manage to get enough leverage to pull me and my crisco loving black woman over the edge, you'd better be prepared for sonic boom and a crater the size of a trailer park.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Number One Times Three

Open Wide has been the number one song on Sirius Satellite Radio's OutQ Channel 106 for the past 3 weeks in a row.

Thank You to everyone who called and emailed requests for the song.

Lotsa Love


Email A REQUEST.... :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Duct Tape & Super Glue

Photo by Carrie Jo Thomas

The first time my heart broke, it took me by surprise. I tried shaking it and heard all these jingling pieces and a strange clicking sound. Why do we think we can shake a complex piece of machinery and magically repair the unseen damage?

The second time my heart broke I bound it back together with duct tape and kept walking as if I didn't notice that the incessant beating in my chest had stopped.

The third time was a more complicated operation. The edges never quite grew back together and the spots where they had were weaker and so easily prone to giving way at the slightest signs of pressure.

The fourth time it fell out of my chest and hit the floor, shattering into millions of little pieces. A heart that grows hard and brittle is so prone to shattering.

I tried super glue. It was like a jigsaw puzzle, scowering the floor for the pieces that fit together, sometimes trying to force their jagged edges to marry to no avail.
It looked a little rough, but it would have to do.

The last time my heart broke, I didn't feel it. I didn't notice anything had changed. I just hugged him goodbye and smiled and walked away.

I ordered an English breakfast tea before popping into the pharmacy to buy duct tape and super glue.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Swing High

Saturday was marked by record breaking January temperatures in the 70's. As people wandered the streets lapping up ice cream cones and strolling the avenues in shorts and tanktops, I rushed to the train station bound for battery park city to meet the amazing Mr. Carpentier.

We after-all had a date with a swingset. You are never too old to plop your ass down on a rubber seat, grab hold of the chains and reach for the sky. The feeling of the air rushing against my face as we swung higher and higher, let me know that I am still alive. Sometimes, I become too bogged down in the mechanical aspects of my existence to really just enjoy the fact that my heart beats and my lungs push the air in and out. I worry too much. I fret. I overthink and overboil my blood in a firey kettle of self-induced neurotic hell-fire.

The sunset on the water was a feast for the eyes. The children laughing and playing took me back to a time when the world made so much more sense, something it lacks for me these days. I enjoyed the unseasonably warm winter's day able to forget for a moment that a chunk of the arctic ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields broke loose and is drifting to forget that the gulf stream is slowing and that Europe is bracing for the coming ice age. It's all happening faster than we think.

Sometimes, it nice to just close your eyes and feel the wind on your face and swing high we touch the sky.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Return from Oz (part2)

I had the pleasure and pain of spending a week in Kansas for Christmas.
Though it was great to see my family, an occurance which generally doesn't happen more than twice per year, it was a christmas that did not feel familiar in a way that Christmas usually does.

My parents recently moved to the town where my sister lives in Northern Kansas. As they are temporarily living in a church parsonage while renovations are done on their new house, all of the familiar ornaments, nativity scenes, bobbles and bangles were packed away in boxes, wondering why Christmas had forgotten them this year.

I found myself in one of the only areas of the country where no major cellphone provider works.
I recently recorded a song called "unplug" for the next album, which touches on my resent dislike of technologies deathgrip on the social skills of the human race coupled with the knowledge that earth's climate is changing at an alarmingly fast rate. I found it both calming and unsettling that I had no contact with the outside world, a test of my lack or abundance of hypocracy. I'm not sure which won.

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